Dec. 10, 2008
NEW YORK, N.Y. - By NFF Correspondent Bo Carter
The 51st National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame Annual Awards Dinner celebrated many milestones in the collegiate game at the Waldorf=Astoria Tuesday night.
Besides the induction of 13 all-time collegiate stalwarts and head coaches John Cooper and Lou Holtz, the NFF audience of just under 1,600 received rousing renditions of the national anthem and "God Bless America" by "America's Beloved Tenor" Daniel Rodriguez.
2008 inductees included Troy Aikman of UCLA, Dr. Billy Cannon of LSU, Jim Dombrowski of Virginia, Pat Fitzgerald of Northwestern, Wilber Marshall of Florida, Rueben Mayes of Washington State, Randall McDaniel of Arizona State, Don McPherson of Syracuse, Jay Novacek of Wyoming, Dave Parks of Texas Tech, Ron Simmons of Florida State, Thurman Thomas of Oklahoma State; Arnold Tucker of Army, and coaches John Cooper (Tulsa, Arizona State and Ohio State) and Lou Holtz (William & Mary, NC State, Arkansas, Minnesota, Notre Dame, and South Carolina).
Major award winners included U.S. Senator John Glenn, accepting the NFF Gold Medal as an outstanding American who has demonstrated integrity and honesty, achieved significant career success; T. Boone Pickens, who claimed the NFF Distinguished American Award, which is presented on special occasions when a truly deserving individual emerges; Collegiate Licensing Co. and former Tennessee football coach Bill Battle, earned recognition as the recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award; and Ohio State's Gene Smith who took home the The John L. Toner Award given annually to a director of athletics who has demonstrated superior administrative abilities. The Outstanding College Football Official Award for 2008 was presented to Thomas Robinson of the Western Athletic and Mountain West Conferences, and Bob Curtis of Idaho and the late Dick Galiette of Yale were recognized as the co-recipients of the NFF Chris Schenkel Broadcaster of the Year Award.